Saratoga kids need to sew

September 17, 2020 — by Jeanette Zhou
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I attempted embroidery to make a shirt for my sister and found a relaxing pastime

My sister can sew. From retailoring shirts to making entire outfits from scratch, she has done it all. 

My sister has recently turned 20 and, since she is in college, I couldn’t celebrate with her. As a result, I’ve decided to attempt to follow in her footsteps and embroider some clothing for her in the two weeks before she returns home; keyword: attempt.

I started my journey by watching how-to videos. After about two hours of research, I deemed myself ready, so I opened my sister’s Pinterest to choose a design.

That was a mistake.

I am a VERY indecisive person — I change my order at LEAST eight times as I wait in line — and when faced with hundreds of choices for designs, I knew there was no way that I could choose just one.

But, not to worry, I had a backup plan. I narrowed down the designs into three categories: flowers, astrology and landscapes. 

I then messaged my sister with a very inconspicuous message: “For no particular reason, could you pick a number between one and three?”

After receiving a confused response (she picked two), I settled on a design with both of our star signs (scorpio and pisces) together.

The design consisted of our two-star sign constellations surrounded by stars of varying sizes.

From my research, I knew that I needed a 4-inch hoop, embroidery floss, thin scissors, a pencil and a milliner’s needle (thanks, Martha Stewart.) I’d already ordered the materials off of Amazon.

I began my project by pulling the shirt taught in the hoop and sketching out the design in pencil, which took me about seven minutes (I started over three times during this process, so it would probably take someone else less time.) After I was satisfied with my outline, I started the tedious process of stitching.

My design required twinkle stitches, where you make several straight stitches across each other of varying lengths in a shape that resembles a star, and running stitches, which is the most basic stitch where you pass the needle in and out of the fabric. 

To my surprise, my fourth-grade Girl Scout sewing skills held up and I completed the stitches with ease.

The final product took about two hours to complete, and although the process was relatively time-consuming, I actually found the monotonous action really relaxing.

I would definitely recommend embroidery as a pastime to all of the stressed-out souls during our crazy, quarantined, coronavirus-infected times to help relax and create a personalized article of clothing.


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